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May 16, 2012 10:45 AM Silly Season: White House Follies Edition

By Jonathan Bernstein

If you’re not on Twitter, you may have missed this one : it turns out that the White House has carefully inserted, well, advertisements for the president at the bottom of a bunch of the historical presidential profiles that have been on the White House web site since, I don’t know, a while now. Example: the Nixon one now ends:

Did you know?
In 1973, Richard Nixon created The President’s Export Council, which was expanded and reconstituted under President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Today the PEC continues to work towards reaching President Obama’s goal of doubling the nation’s exports by 2014’s end.

Conservatives have been having fun mocking it all day long, which is absolutely — Philip Klein’s attempt to make something more of it notwithstanding — the best reaction. Note, in Klein’s post, that he attributes it to Obama’s “narcissism,” as if this was something that Obama himself initiated and, perhaps, carried out. Of course, it’s no such thing; it’s just really painfully awkward and foolish electioneering.

Much better is NRO’s Dan Foster, who offered several decent ones and this keeper:

3bn years ago, aerobic life appeared. Obama has made historic use of oxygen in his answers to press conference questions. #ObamaInHistory

It’s just a foolish mistake by someone (yes, of course the White House web site is going to contain the president’s talking points, but heavy-handed propaganda just makes them look silly). They should correct it. If the White House doesn’t (1) scrub these within the next couple days, and (2) accompany it with a decently self-deprecating comment from the press office, they deserve another round of ridicule.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.
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